Visit to Priorat by Board-O

I am a relative newcomer to this wine region, but we drank almost everything we could find from Priorat in the months preceding our recent trip there. Not only did we visit and taste at some of the top wineries in the region, but we also ordered their wines with our meals, both there and later in Barcelona. In the past, I haven't been much of a fan of wines made primarily from Grenache (Garnacha) or Carignane (Cariņena) except for wines from the Rhone Valley and a couple of Australian Grenaches.
Priorat wineries have really opened my eyes to the potential of these varietals. The old vines Cariņena and Garnacha wines we've tasted have been spicy, rich wines with great depth of berry and dark fruit flavors and the potential to age and improve for more than a decade, some for far longer than that.
The 2005 barrel samples were almost all very impressive. I expect this to be a great vintage, rivalling or surpassing the best of the last 8 years, which is how far back my limited experience goes. The 2004 vintage from bottle also seems to be developing nicely but slowly. I'm finding the 2004s a bit leaner and more closed than the 2005s. I expect the 2005 vintage to be ready before the 2004 vintage. If pressed to rate these vintages now, I'd rate the 2004 vintage a 90 and the 2005 vintage a 95-96.
The first wines of the wineries we visited and others which we tasted were virtually all excellent but what surprised me was the quality and concentration of the second and even third wines.
The Spanish wines I knew of two and three decades ago were a far cry from the Priorat wines of today. I expect Priorat to continue to grow in stature as one of the world's top wine producing regions. Our visit there was one of the great wine trips of our lives.

Aug 8 2006, A visit to Rotllan Torra (Priorat, Spain)

This was the disappointment of the trip for us. We had an appointment to meet Jordi Rotllan Torra for a atour and tasting. The day before we left, he emailed me that he had an appointment he couldn't change and wanted us to come earlier. I explained he was our first stop after flying in so he arranged for his brother, Albert to meet us.
When we arrived, Albert was in the office, but he spoke very little English, so he brought in a young woman named Asun to translate.
The winery is located in Torroja del Priorat, a tiny village built centuries ago. The polpulation is 143. Our hotel was located there.
The Scala Dei monks built the cellar in the 15th Century as part of a monastery. The walls are 1 meter thick and made of stone so the winery downstairs remained cool with three of its walls underground. Even the offices upstairs were cool relative to the intense heat outside. The ceiling is constructed of all French oak, though I'm doubt it does anything for the wine.
The winery has a 1 million liter capacity. It maintains a constant 80% humidity. The temperature is a relatively high 77 degrees in summer and 61 in winter, but this seems to be the case in many of the wineries we visited. The handmade bottles for the Muscadet were beautiful.
Albert offered us no tasting, the only winery to do that. If you go, walk down from the road above. The hill is so steep and the stones so slippery, you could have a problem getting back up. There is also a dirt access road below. I would contact Jordi before going and request a tour and tasting.

Our second appointment was at this beautiful winery just outside the village of



It was built in 2004. Prior to that, the Mas Igneus winery was located in Poboleda.
We were met by the winemaker, Fran Vernet, who first showed us around the modern winery, and then brought us upstairs for a tasting. We communicated with Fran in some English and some French. I was impressed with the wines we tasted and expect great developments at this winery in the years to come.
The wines:

2004 Barranc dels Closos- This is a white wine made from a blend of the Garnacha Blanc, Muscat, PX, and Macabeu varietals. The wine had a nice nose of pears and citrus. There was a crisp minerality and a spicy flavor of lemon oil. It was fresh and a pleasure to drink. The moderate sharpness was not a negative. 88
2003 FA 206- 11 euros- This is a blend of 60% Garnacha, 30% Carignana, and 10% Syrah. This wine had a truly wonderful nose of bright red fruit and berries with some smoke. On the palate, the wine was young and spicy with great red fruit flavors. Needs a little time. 90-93
2000 FA 112- 24 euros- This is a blend of 70% Garnacha, 20% Carignana, and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. The rich plummy nose of spice, mint, and tobacco gave off a little heat. Deep and complex flavors of fruit pies were balanced by crisp acidity and mostly integrated tannins. This still needs a couple of more years in the bottle but is stunning now. This is hard to beat for the money from Priorat. A great QPR. 93-94
I'd highly recommend a visit to this winery.

Aug 11 2006, A visit to Cellers Scala Dei (Priorat, Spain)

After breakfast, we drove north to the tiny village of Escaladei,

which translates to ladder to God. Felicia Skira of Codorniu had arranged our appointment. We were met by an administrator of the winery, Albert Criville. Albert showed us around the modern winery built in an old stone building by monks in 1163. It was interesting to think that this building was 600 years older than the Unites States. The walls are more than a meter thick.
The winery produces approximately 150,000 bottles per year. Like all of Priorat, the climate is very dry and the soil is slate. Albert told us that 2006 will likely be a small vintage due to a drier than usual year. The winery recently discontinued the production of white wine to devote themselves to the effort to produce great red wine.
Their top wine, Cartoixa, is usually aged for approximately 12 months in new French oak. In the spotty 2002 vintage, the winery felt the Cartoixa would have have been sub-par, and so none was produced.
Their second wine, Prior, is primarily aged in 2nd and 3rd year French and American oak.
Their third wine, Negre, is not oak aged.
The wines:
2005 Negre - This is made from the juice of grapes from younger vines, along with that from some older vines. It is composed of 90% Garnacha and a 10% mixture of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. It had a nose of dark fruit and spice. It was fresh and young tasting with nice minerality and blackberry flavors. It was simple but pleasureful to drink. 85
2003 Prior - This wine is composed of 70% Garnacha, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 10% Syrah. It was aged primarily in 2nd and 3rd year French and American oak, along with a small amount in new oak. The rich nose of spice, cigarbox, baking fruit, and a little vanilla was beautiful. It was nicely balanced with integrated tannins and plum and berry flavors. It was fully ready to drink. 88
2003 Cartoixa - This wine is composed of 41% Garnacha, 41% Syrah, and 18% Cabernet Sauvignon. This vintage was aged in all French oak, some new and some 2nd year. The wine had a nose of spice and rich dark fruit. Lush flavors of spice and blackberries were balanced by ideal acidity and moderate tannins. Almost ready to drink now, it should hold for years. 90-91

Aug 13 2006, A visit to Celler Vall Llach (Priorat, Spain), outstanding
We drove to the town square of Porrera where we had arranged to meet Roger Simo, accountant and administrator of Celler Vall Llach. He was a little late and we found a local gentleman who spoke no English who directed us to the winery. There we met Josep Parise, an enologist at Celler Vall Llach. He told us he analyzes the wines.
One of the reasons for the great success of Celler Vall Llach is the large number of separate fermentations they conduct. Fermentations are done separately for each varietal in each of their many vineyards. All wines are aged in French oak. In 2004, the production consisted of:

16,000 bottles of Vall Llach
25,000 bottles of Idus
65,000 bottles of Embruix

At this point, Roger joined us and took us upstairs to the cool, airconditioned aging room. We tasted two barrel samples:
2005 Mas de la Rosa Vineyard Cariņena- The vines for these grapes are 70-80 years old. This barrel sample had a beautiful rich nose of cinnamon, dark fruit, and oak. Outstanding lush plum and dark berry flavors were deep and mouth coating. The wine was balanced and excellent. 95
2005 Mas del Porrera Merlot- This medium toast barrel consisted of wine from younger vines. At first sniff, I thought I might have detected a hint of Sherry, but the wine was clearly not madeirized. It had wonderful dark fruit flavors and great balance, extremely remarkable for a Merlot from young vines. 95
I look forward with great anticipation to the 2005 wines from Celler Vall Llach.

I told Roger I'd love to see the wines bottled separately by varietal because they were so outstanding in their own right, but I'm sure it's not going to happen. This is a first class operation and the future looks extremely bright. These 2005s should sell out quickly.

Aug 17 2006, A visit to Alvaro Palacios (Priorat, Spain)
We drove to the winery a bit in advance of our appointment time to be sure we'd find it without difficulty. It was a good idea, since there are no signs along the road or even on the winery where some driveway and grounds construction is being undertaken.
This beautiful edifice is large and boasts an expansive layout of modern winemaking equipment. The winery is located at an elevation of 1400 meters and many of the winery's vineyards are visible from the main entrance.
We were met in the large, very comfortable, air-conditioned reception room by Juan Asens, a winemaker, administrator, and assistant to Mr. Alvaro Palacios. Juan introduced himself to us as "zhoo-ON," the Catalan pronunciation of Juan.
Every area of this winery is beautiful.
Most impressive was the aging room which was built to look like the inside of a barrel.
Juan then gave us some insight as to the make-up, age, manner of farming, and location of the various vineyards and composition of the different wines produced by Alvaro Palacios.
Finca L'Ermita is traditionally farmed by men without the use of machines. It is 80 Garnacha and 20% Carignana.
Most of the other vineyards are modern and machines are employed in farming.

Finca Dofi is a single vineyard composed of 55% Garnacha, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Syrah, and 5% Merlot.

Les Terrasses is a blend of different vineyards and is fermented in concrete, steel, and wood.

L'Ermita and Finca Dofi are fermented only in wood.

L'Ermita is made from individually selected grapes, a very time consuming and labor intensive process (similar to a Trockenbeerenauslese's grape selection) that is, in part, responsible for the high cost of this wine. The grapes are hand macerated and hand punched down.

After a comprehensive tour, Juan led us to the tasting room where we tasted the following wines:
2004 Les Terrasses- The composition is 60% Carignana, 30% Garnacha, 9.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 0.5% Syrah. This wine has a rich nose of anise and dark fruit with a bit of parsley. There is an excellent depth of flavor with great spice and the taste of ripe blackberries. This is truly outrageous for a third wine! Certainly improving, it needs another year or two. 91-92

2004 Finca Dofi- The composition is 55% Garnacha, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Syrah, and 5% Merlot. The wine is an opaque red-black with a powerful floral nose of spice and baked fruit. Concentrated flavors of blackberries and roasted meat are accompanied by hard tannins and copious acidity. It needs 3+ years but is already a great wine and sure to get better. 92-94

2004 L'Ermita- The composition is 80% Garnacha and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon. It has a powerful nose of mint, thyme, rosemary, sage, and flowers. Whoa Nellie! This is a powerhouse. It is concentrated with a viscous texture and flavors of rhubarb pie, strawberries, and raspberry liquer. It needs 3-5 years. 92-96

2005 L'Ermita- The composition is 80% Garnacha and 20 % Cabernet Sauvignon. It has been in barrel since November and only 7 barrels exist from the yet to be acclaimed truly great vintage of 2005. It has a beautiful nose of anise, mint, and roses. On the palate, this wine explodes in the mouth. The power of lush flavors of blackberries is matched by the wine's powerful backbone. This will be one the world's great wines in 5-10 years. 96-100


I was truly impressed by the winery and the wines of Alvaro Palacios more than any other winery I've ever visited. This is a visit I'd highly recommend to anyone who finds themself anywhere within a day's drive of this top echelon operation.

A visit to Celler Ardevol (Priorat, Spain)
We were met in the central square of Porrera by Josep Ardevol, owner/winemaker of
Celler Ardevol.

We hiked up narrow stone alleys to his small winery in the town heights. We toured the winery and Josep told us about his wines.
The first wine is Terra d'Hom. The second wine, Coma d'en Romeu was not sold in the United States until this year. The third wine, Anjoli, was only imported into Colorado until now. All threee wines are aged in all French oak. The wines:
2005 Garnacha- This was a barrel sample. It has a nose of spice and crushed berries with nice tart cherry and plummy flavors. 88
2005 Syrah- This barrel sample consists of grapes from 12 year old vines. It has a rich nose of stewed fruit and flowers. I found it a little thin for a young Syrah. 85
2005 Cabernet Sauvignon- This barrel sample was from 12 year old vines. The nose is closed. The wine is tannic with blackberry flavors. 85
2005 Merlot- This barrel sample was from 12 year old vines. It has a powerful nose of baking spices with rich dark fruit and mineral flavors. 88
2003 Coma d'en Romeu- This wine consists of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon with the remainder composed of Garnacha, Carignana, Merlot, and Syrah. It has a fruit pastry nose and seems balanced and ready. Carbonic maceration yields fruity, early drinking wines, and this is a great example. There are flavors of berries and licorice. 88
2003 Terra d'Hom- This wine consists of 50% Merlot, 30% Garnacha, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 10% Syrah. It has a nose of malt and dark fruit juice. It's tannic and a bit thin. I think it needs several more years in the bottle. 85-87
Josep takes a lot of pride in his winery and I've read reviews scoring his wines higher than I did. I don't know if it's a matter

A visit to Celler Joan Simo (Priorat, Spain)
We parked our car in the central square of Porrera and walked a short distance to Celler Joan Simo where we were met by winemaker/owner,
Gerard Batllevel, and his wife, Fanny.

Of all the wineries I contacted before our trip to Priorat, Gerard was the most helpful to us in planning our trip. He sent us a lot of information that helped us learn how to get around this remote region. In addition, after leaving the winery, we had a problem with our car and Gerard helped us immensely and contacted the car rental agency for us to procure a replacement in this small village.
The winery is named for Gerard's grandfather. (Joan is the Catalan name for John.) Annual production is normally in the 15-20,000 bottle range. In 2004, about 7,000 bottles of Les Eres and 10-15,000 bottles of Les Sentius are being produced. After a tour, we tasted the following wines:
2003 Les Sentius- The composition of this wine is 60% Garnacha, 28% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Syrah, and 4% Merlot. The wine has a moderate nose of roses and spice with bright, juicy flavors of cherries. It is balanced and almost ready. 88-89
2003 Les Eres- The composition of this wine is 60% Carignana, 20% Garnacha, and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine has a very nice nose of wet earth, coffee, and plums. On the palate, the wine is packed with great dark berry flavors, moderate integrated tannins, and acidity to age. 90-92
2005 Syrah- This was a very impressive barrel sample. I told Gerard I'd love to see this bottled separately, but that does not seem to be an accepted method in Priorat. Virtually all wines are blends. This has a rich nose of malt and root vegetables, with rich, plummy, boysenberry flavors. Well-balanced. 93
2004 Les Sentius- The composition of this wine is 60% Garnacha, 22% cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, and 8% Syrah. The wine has a slightly medicinal nose of dried fruit and baking pastries. It has a nice minerality to it with tart cherry flavors. It has good balance but needs more time in the bottle. 90-91
This was one of our favorite winery visits. I'd recommend it to anyone visiting the region.

Aug 20 2006, A visit to Mas d'en Gil (Priorat, Spain)
This was truly one of the highlights in a trip filled with great experiences.

The hospitality shown to us by Marta Rovira was far more than we had any right to expect. Marta's directions were perfect and we found the large sprawling property between Falset and Bellmunt del Priorat without any problems. We drove past and through acres of vines, almond trees, olive trees, and hazelnut trees to the one of the main buildings where Marta had suggested we meet.
Marta is a young woman and member of the family that owns the winery. Her duties include overseeing exports and marketing. The beautiful house where we met houses offices, an upstairs tasting room, and cellar/aging room, I believe. From there, Marta took us on a tour of the large property in a four wheel drive extended cab truck. This would have been impossible in a 2 wheel drive vehicle and we climbed over hills of gravel, shale, and earth through vineyards of different varietals and ages, and through groves of almond, hazelnut, and olive trees. Mas d'en Gil produces an outstanding extra virgin olive oil that is available through Dean and DeLuca. It's as fine an evoo as any I've ever had from Italy. I highly recommend it.
This winery had a wider variety of soils than we encountered in the other wineries of Priorat. The different soils yield differing charcteristics in the resultant wines. We drove through vineyards of shale, gravel, and a mixture of gravel and red earth.
Production consists of 3-5,000 bottles of Coma Blanca, 15,000 bottles of Clos Fonta, and 60,000 Coma Vella.
After our tour, Marta brought us back to the house where she introduced us to winemaker Peter Margelef in the large, breezy tasting room. Peter and Marta mentioned a limited bottling, called Gran Buig, but none was available to taste. The wines from the excellent 2001 vintage were:
2001 Clos Fonta- This wine is composed of Garnacha and Carignana from 60-70 year old vines and Cabernet Sauvignon. It is aged in all new French oak. It had a great spicy, berry nose with loads of dark fruit flavors and some espresso on the lingering finish. There were plenty of tannins and structure to age. This wine is just getting close to its prime. I would drink it over the next 5-6 years. 92-95
2001 Coma Vella - This wine is composed of Garnacha and Carignana from 40 year old vines, and small amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. It is aged in 20% new French oak, and 40% one year old and 40% two year old French oak previously used for Clos Fonta. The wine had a spicy nose of flowers and stewed fruit, with sweet raspberry and dried fruit flavors, and nice balance. It is ready to drink. 91
To anyone planning to visit the Priorat region of Spain, this is one winery on the must visit list. Although I've enjoyed Mas d'en Gil wines in the United States,

I had no idea of the extent of this property and in their diversity of products. It is an extremely professionally managed winery with great attention given to even the most minute of details, a truly first-class operation. It was our great pleasure to spend part of our time in Priorat with Marta and learn of her family's accomplishments.

Aug 25 2006, Clos Mogador, Clos Figueras, Celler Laurona, La Vinya del Vuit (Priorat, Spain)
We were very fortunate to spend a wonderful afternoon tasting the wines of these four wineries and enjoying a great lunch with them at Irreductibles, an excellent restaurant in Gratallops owned by Rene Barbier Jr. The restaurant will be written up in a Priorat dining post yet to come, but Irreduyctibles is highly recommended by my wife and me. This great occasion was arranged for us by Miquel Compte, manager of Celler Laurona (actually a DO Montsant) and administrative aide to Rene Barbier at Clos Figueras.
Before sitting down to lunch, Rene and I climbed down a narrow metal staircase to the Clos Figueras aging room and tasted 3 barrel samples. The 2005 Clos Figueras is composed of 30% Cariņena, 30% Garnacha, 30% Syrah, 5% Monastrell (Mourvedre), and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. The two barrel samples were:
2005 Clos Figueras from new French oak- This wine had a rich nose of dark fruit and a little chocolate. It was balanced with a nice raspberry jam flavor and tasted almost ready to drink. 90
2005 Clos Figueras from 2nd year French oak-- This wine had a nose of cherries with more depth of flavor and complexity than the new oak sample. 91
2005 La Vinya del Vuit- In Catalan, this means the vineyard of eight. Rene Barbier Jr. and friends produce this as a cooperative effort. The beautiful label is designed by the wife (or daughter?) of one of the eight. It is composed of 95% Cariņena from vines that are 95 years old. It is aged in 80% new oak for 22 months. There was a H2S nose that required 5 minutes of swirling to blow off. Rene told me to keep swirling and a great ripe cherry nose emerged. It had bright juicy raspberry flavors. The wine required much time in the glass to soften. 89-92
We then went in for lunch where we sat at a table next to
Alvaro Palcios.

"What Spanish wine was Alvaro Palacios drinking? you might ask. Dom Perignon. Nice lunch time wine! We tasted the following wines during lunch:
2003 Laurona- This wine is composed of 50% Garnacha, 25% Merlot, 15% Syrah, and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. It had a nose of stewed prunes, anise, and orange zest. On the palate, the wine had moderate integrated tannins and flavors of plums and dark berries. 89
2003 Laurona 6 Vinyes- This wine is fermented and aged in new French oak and is composed of 60% Garnacha and 40% Cariņena. It had a cigarbox nose with some mocha and cherries. Lush flavors of black fruits, nuts, and coffee were wonderful, but the tannins were powerful and will need some time to integrate. This needs 3-4 more years. 89-92
2004 Font de la Figuera- This is the second wine of Clos Figueras. it had a nose of Sherry and raisins but did not seem at all madeirized. Simple and easy to drink. 86
2002 Laurona 6 Vinyes- This had a mineral nose with notes of baked fruit and mint. There were plenty of tannin and acidity to age, but the fruit may last til this wine softens. A good wine from a difficult vintage. 87-89
2004 Clos Mogador Nelin- This was an outstanding white wine made from Garnacha Blanc, Roussane, Viognier, Macabeo, and Pinot Noir. It had a huge perfumed nose and flavor of pear liquer. Powerful! It paired well with the squid with tomato broth. It's a pity that wine won't make it to the United States.93
2003 Clos Mogador Manyetes- This wine is composed of 70% Cariņena and 30% Garnacha. The exotic nose of newly mown grass and cloves was unusual for these varietals from this region. It was tannic with tart dark fruit flavors. This needs time and seems a bit disjointed. 88
2003 Clos Mogador- This wine is composed of 40% Garnacha, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Syrah, and 15% Cariņena. The nose of raisins, pastry, and minerals was beautiful. There were spicy, rich, plummy dark fruit flavors along with excellent balance. This us just about ready. 93-94
This was one of the great experiences of our visit to Priorat. In addition to meeting some of the giants of Priorat winemaking, we had an outstanding meal to compliment the wines. For anyone who might find themselves able to get to this area, these wineries and this restaurant should not be missed.

Aug 28 2006, A visit to Mas Doix (Priorat, Spain)
We drove to the village of Poboleda for an appointment at Mas Doix arranged for us by Ramon Llagostera, owner of the winery. Unfortunately, he could not be there, so he arranged for Maite to conduct our tour and tasting. Also unfortunately, she speaks no English, so we communicated with my extremely rudimentary Catalan and Spanish skills, plus some hand gestures. From our "discussion," I gathered that she is the vineyard manager for Mas Doix. The winery is modern with a beautiful and cool aging room. After our tour, we went upstairs to the conference room-style tasting room and tasted the following wine:
2004 Mas Doix- The wine is composed of 50% Carigņena, 47% Garnacha, and 3% Merlot. It had been open for 4 1/2 hours before we tasted it.
It had a rich nose of dark fruit, spice, and minerals and was loaded with lush flavors of berries and baking fruit pies with great complexity and depth. It is outstanding now and will surely improve. 91-95

Sep 8 2006
Our first meal in Priorat was lunch. Someone had recommended Piro in the town of Gratallops. It was close to our next winery visit,

Mas Igneus,


so in addition to having been recommended, it was convenient. We parked on a narrow street in front of the restaurant and were greeted by the waiter who I believe was also the owner. He spoke no English and we spoke no Catalan, so with my very meager Spanish, we attempted to communicate. Most of the people in the restaurant were drinking carafe wine, but this was a vacation for us, so we slected a 2005 Scala Dei Les Brugueres (15 euros) from the wine list which I believe had only Priorat wines, though there may have been a Montsant or two.
We pointed to items on the menu and tried to get the witers opinion, but we basically ordered without knowing exactly what we were going to get. We split an appetizer of roasted peppers and eggplant with sardines on grilled bread. It was excellent! Nothing like canned sardines. My "carne" turned out to be lamb chops. I found them tender and flavorful, but a bit overdone. I don't know how to say "medium-rare" in Catalan (or even Spanish). My wife's trout with spinach was nothing special. We skipped dessert.
I'd recommend this place for a nice lunch. The service was friendly and the prices modest.

We had an outstanding lunch at Mas Trucafort, about 1 mile north of Falset on the road to Bellmunt del Priorat. The restaurant and grounds are beautiful. Upon entering, we were met by
Roger Felip who, along with his wife, Nina Soler, own the restaurant. We were seated at a table for four even though there were just two of us. Tables are well spaced with nice linens. The wine listed is well-chosen with numerous wines from Montsant and Priorat. We selected a 2001 Laurona from the list for 18 euros, a very fair price for this wine.
I asked Roger for his suggestions and he named the blood sausage which arrived hot and flavorful, perfectly done. My wife ordered the paella which was also ideal. We then shared a well-selected cheese plate and finished with fruit and ice cream.
Roger speaks fluent English, a relative rarity in Priorat, and was very hospitable. He took me downstairs to his wine cellar, of which he is justly proud. I highly recommend this restaurant to anyone lucky enough to find themself in the area.

Sep 13 2006
We had one of the most memorable meals of our trip at Irreductibles in Gratallops. We were hosted by Rene Barbier Jr, the owner of Irreductibles and well-known Priorat winemaker, and it was arranged for us by Miquel Comptes. The dinner was in combination with a tasting of the wines of
Clos Mogador, Clos Figueras, Celler Laurona, and La Vinya del Vuit.

We began with a tasting of barrel samples in an aging room, then into the well-appointed beautiful restaurant for a lunch paired with the wines of these wineries. Every dish we had was outstanding. The menu:
Amuse Bouche- Octopus and blood sausage in pear reduction
Amuse Bouche- Guacamole with onion and tomato
Soup- Cream of fava bean with evoo and ham
Appetizer- Squid with tomato foam
Main Course- Rare filet mignon with mushroom sauce
Dessert- Warm chocolate cake in coconut milk with peach sorbet and fresh peaches
This was our finest meal in Priorat and I highly recommend this restaurant. The wine list is wonderful and loaded with wines from Clos Mogador, Clos Figueras, Celler Laurona, and La Vinya del Vuit.

Sep 22 2006
For our final dinner in Priorat we went to Celler de l'Aspic on the main road of Falset. The restaurant is beautiful and the tables large with very generous spacing. Our waiter spoke English. We decided to go for a modified tapas for dinner. We had an excellent wine from the well-chosen and fairly-priced wine list, a 2004 Clos Mogador Nelin.
We were first presented with an amuse bouche of tomato soup with cod and salmon. It was an excellent combination of flavors and textures.
The first dish we ordered was foie gras.

Two large slices of foie gras were presented along with two fruit reductions and some chopped nuts. This was simply to die for, so outstanding, we ordered another. The price was unrealistically low.
The next (now third) dish was Croquettas de Serrano Jamon. These were chewy and tasty, but the inside was a little cold without much ham in them. I'd pass on this dish.
We then ordered a red wine which I neglected to add to my notes. It paired well with the cheese plate we ordered which came with 4 diverse cheeses and some stewed quince. This I'd definitely order again.
Our final dish was stewed mussels. These were nothing special.
All-in-all I'd certainly go back to this restaurant. I hope to someday return.

Useful Links

Our Priorat Visit
Sexy Wines
Wine Mile

Wine Tasting Notes